Health Aspects of Astaxanthin: A Review

Mohammed Said Moosa Al-Bulishi1,2*, Xue Changhu2, Qing-Juan Tang2
1Food Science and Nutrition Department, College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman. 2College of Food Science and Engineering, Ocean University of China, Qingdao City, Shandong Province , P.R.China

*Corresponding Author: [email protected]

Astaxanthin is a xanthophyll carotenoid which is found in various microorganisms and marine animals. It is a red fat-soluble pigment which does not have pro-Vitamin A activity in the human body, although some of the studies reported that astaxanthin has more potent biological activity than other carotenoids. Astaxanthin is currently used as food colorant in animal and fish feed. Astaxanthin produced from Haematococcus pluvialis is a main source for human consumption, as it is used as a source of pigment in the feed for salmon, trout and shrimp. The consumption of astaxanthin reduces the risk of human health diseases as it is documented in humans and animals-based studies. Biological activities of astaxanthin includes anticancer and antioxidant potential properties. The natural sources of astaxanthin are algae, yeast, salmon, trout, krill, shrimp and crayfish. In this review, we included recent findings on the effects of astaxanthin and its esters on oxidative stress and carcinogenesis.

Keywords: Astaxanthin, Human Health, Oxidative Stress, Cancer

Al-Bulishi MSM, Changhu X, Tang QJ. Health Aspects of Astaxanthin: A Review. Canad J Clin Nutr 2015; 3 (2): 71-78